” … this my son was dead, and has come to life again”
LUKE 15:24

ALL SAINTS are penitents; all saints have shown great contrition for whatever sins they have ever committed.  But some saints are well known precisely for having abandoned a life of sin and dedicated themselves to God.

SAINT AUGUSTINE (354-430) was born in Tagaste, near Algiers, of a pagan father, who received Baptism only on his deathbed, and a holy mother, Monica.  This saintly mother instructed her son in the fundamentals of religion, but he lost his faith and began a life of serious sin before the time when he would have been baptized.  Throughout his many years of sin, Monica prayed for Augustine; finally, in 386, he found his faith again and received Baptism from Saint Ambrose on Holy Saturday, 387.  Augustine dedicated the remainder of his life to God.  As a priest and as Bishop of Hippo in North Africa, he wrote and preached extensively.  He earned both eminent sanctity and the reputation of being one of the greatest Doctors of Christianity.

SAINT MARGARET OF CORTONA (1247-1297) was a native of Laviano in Tuscany.  She lost her mother in death when she was seven, and her unsympathetic stepmother deprived her of a mother’s love and of religious training.  When she was eighteen a young nobleman promised to marry her, but kept her instead as his mistress for nine years, giving her a son, but never marrying her.  One day she came upon the body of her murdered lover; the shock of it turned her to God.  She traveled to Cortona and placed herself under the direction of the Franciscans.  The remainder of her life was one of penance and virtuous living.  She died in Cortona with the happiness of having converted many sinners to God.

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959 © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.   Print. 

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